33 thoughts on “125. New Public Management Theory Unit 1

  1. Answer 1) NPM’s thrust is the 3 E’s- Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness.
    a) It is ‘market orientated’ – focuses on result and reduces reliance on process orientation.
    b) NPM increases autonomy, flexibility, this increases the individual accountability.
    c) Emphasis is on high-quality services that are valued by the citizens.
    d) Civil Servants should be trained and periodically evaluate their performance. Reward both individual and organization performance.
    e) Provide human and technological support for achieving performance targets
    f) Wants civil servants to be responsible and responsive
    g) Decentralization of work, gives rise to a bottom up approach
    h) The employee is not treated merely as a cog in the wheel, but as a partner in the promotion of the public good.
    i) Demands Political –Administration Dichotomy.
    j) There should be transparency, accountability in the working of the government.
    k) Whatever public can do, entrust it to them, the rollback the state a bit.
    l) Pay importance to human relations
    m) Cost-cutting, segregation of bureaucracies to interact with agencies on a user pay-basis.

    A criticism on the NPM is that although it is ‘market orientated’, the heart of government operations is ‘Public Interest’. NPM has exposed the over- protected ‘bureaucracy’ to models of management, which if carefully adopted, can bring about improvement in traditional public administration.

  2. NPM has incorporated ideas from Public Choice theory and Management theory. It views citizens as clients and focuses on providing high-quality services that are valued by citizens. The keywords in NPM are Efficiency, Economics and Effectiveness. Calls for the rollback of the state a bit.

    NPA, incorporated ideas from the human-relations movement and the political faction of public administration. The keywords in NPA are Values, Social Equity and Change. It focuses on role of public administration and proactive role of the state.

    NPM has Politics-Administration dichotomy. NPA questions this political neutrality of NPM beyond a limit and involves the civil servant in policy making.

    NPM wants the government actions to be economic. But is only economic figures important, who benefits from the growth rate? NPA states Distributive functions and impact of governmental institutions should be public. The social problems also should be tackled. It tackles contemporary problems and issues also.

  3. Answer 3
    Relevance: The new public administration discovered that traditionally Public Administration is interested in efficiency and economy, and it had too little to say about contemporary problems and issues. Management-oriented Public Administration was found ‘irrelevant’, and there was a need to deal explicitly with the political and administrative implications of the administrative action. The new movement demanded radical curriculum change to facilitate meaningful studies oriented toward the realities of public life.

    Social Equity: Public Administration was viewed as Status-Quo, denying social justice to the less privileged groups. The leaders of the New Public Administration emphasize the principle of equity. In this view the distributive functions and the impact of governmental institutions should be administrations basic concern. The purpose of the government is reduction of the psychic, economic and social suffering and enhancement of life opportunities of those inside and outside of the organization. It urges public administration for removal of wrongs of the society and helping the deprived groups. It puts up a strong fight towards major social issues. Further, if the government fails to work to redress the deprived minorities, eventually it will repress those deprived minorities.

    The status quo should undergo change to serve the cause of Social Equity. This theory is termed anti-theoretic, anti-positivist, and anti-management. The normative, client oriented and socially conscious public administration is relevant today to the third world countries that are in dire need of de-bureaucratization and basic qualitative transformation. The policy making process should be guided by New Public Administration.

  4. Answer 5
    Traditional Public administration differentiates between ‘administrative activities’ and ‘political activities’, is referred to as politics-public administration dichotomy. Public Administration is concerned with implementation of the policy, whereas Political Science deals with policy making. Here, the administrative questions are not political questions.

    New Public Administration: Argued that unless politics and public administration mix freely an understanding of government would be loop sided and inadequate. Proposes the basic purpose of public administration will be heightened by closer associations with politics. As Wallace Sayre has summed up, “public administration is ultimately a problem in political theory. Injects a great deal of New Public Administration thinking into policy-making process.

    New Public Management: Under the NPM, the public sector decision making structure is so designed as to let the manager manage. The political leadership is only concerned with macro policies and goals.

  5. Answer 4
    Quality of Life(QOL) is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. For Ex: GDP indicates the growth rate of a country. Although today we see that GDP and growth rate has increased in India, but this growth is for whom? Growth for what? The percapita income rise is important to improve the quality of life of people. Someother examples are Life Expectancy, Education and standard of living.

  6. New Public Management features:
    1) Separation of Provision form Production: Govt. should act as a coordination, facilitation and promoter, but it should not produce anything. It is the task of private sector (Contracting Out).
    2) Decentralization Provision: Provisioning should be left for the lowest level of govt. if the municipality can do it let it.
    3) Deregulation: No domination of bureaucracy.
    4) Greater competition and choices: Contracting out will bring competition.
    5) Greater emphasis on output controls (performance measurement) rather inputs (resources) and procedures.
    6) Focus on professional management not policy.
    7) Clean Subsidies: Subsidies if any will reach target groups without affecting market price.
    Food stamps, education vouchers (they can use in any private shop/education centre)

    The term relevance was used in the literature of new public Administration, a movement pioneered by young scholars. In this context, the new public administration points out that public administration has traditionally been interested in efficiency and economy. It stress that the discipline has little to say about contemporary problems and issues and therefore becoming more irrelevant.
    Secondly, The character of the administrative knowledge. The question was asked was: the administrative knowledge for what and for whom? Is it only for the perpetuation of political power? They maintained that administrators should use administrative knowledge to facilitate the social institutionalization. Thus, demanded the radical curriculum change to bring the meaningful solutions of social issues.
    Public administration should work to remove the wrongs of society and act as the guardian of under-privileged sections of society. They should use their discretion in administering the programs to protect and promote the interests of poor.
    Social Change:
    To serve the cause of social equity, administrators should actively work for social change. They should bring social transformation through innovative ideas. And bureaucratic tendencies of big institutions should not continue.
    NPA versus NPM:
    1) Emphasizes on publicness of public administration.
    However NPM weakens the publicness and moves more towards generic
    administration (irrespective of public/private).
    2) Brings pubAd more closer to political science.
    NPM makes public administration more towards management.
    3) Takes goal as well as means (to achieve the goals) in consideration
    only takes goals into consideration and maintains that any route would do.
    4) NPA is developmental in nature as it takes interest of the society
    into account, on the other hand NPM is populist in nature as it responds to the
    demands in uncritical way,

    PA-Pol Sci NPA view:
    Public administration is not merely the instrument for executing public policy but one that determines the way in which the public sees the world- particularly the political world. It directs the attention of public and plays significant role in setting the public agenda. Thus it argued that the politics-administration dichotomy should be discarded.
    PA-Pol Sci NPM view:
    NPM emphasizes that govt should contract out the tasks to private firms and should act like facilitator, promoter and distributor of public benefits. It suggests that administrator should help in identifying works, making policies, drawing contracts, and supervising and measuring performance. Thus it also brings PA closer to Pol sci and rejects the PA-Polsci dichotomy.

  7. 1) The main features of NPM are

    a) It focuses on management, not policy – on performance appraisal and efficiency.
    b) Desegregation of public bureaucracies into agencies which deal with each other on a user-pay basis.
    c) Use of quasi-markets and contracting out to foster competition
    d) Cost-cutting
    e) A style of management which emphasises output targets, limited term contracts, monetary incentives amd freedom to manage.

    2) NPM is different from NPA in the following ways
    a) NPA emphasised values like relevance, values, equity and social change.
    b) Wanted Public Administration to take note of changing realities and adapt.
    c) Public Administration must improve the quality of life of the people.
    d) Public Administration must have a human face.
    e) Public Administration must be more normative than neutral.

    3) Public Administration has traditionally been interested in efficiency and economy and it had little to say about contemporary problems and issues. Management-oriented public administration currciulum was found irrelevant and the demand was to deal explicitly with the political and administrative implications of administrative action. Another aspect of the ‘relevance’ issue was about the character of the knowledge itself. It is about questioning the awareness of social and moral implications of knowledge in Public Administration and uses of Public Administration as a social and political science.

    By equity, we understand that the New Public Administration movement challenged the public administration to make it more proactive to major social issues. This involves reduction of economic, social and psychic suffering and the enhancement of life opporunities for those inside and outside the organisation.

    The New Public Administration was against the growth of permanent institutions into self-perpetuating power centers of dominant interests. To serve the cause of the social equity is to actively work for social change is the motto of New Public Administration.

    4) Quality of life is the assessment of the living conditions of the people which can be based on factors like social, pschological, health etc. Public Administrators should strive towards improving the quality of the life of the people.

    5) Wilson argued that administrators and elected representatives have different roles to perform. He sought to make a distinction between ‘political activity’ and ‘administrative activity’ in public organisations. Administration, in his view lies outside the sphere of politics and administrative questions are not political questions.The New Public Administration theory argued that Politics-administration dichotonomy is unrealistic, irrelevant and unworkable, as the actors on either side frequently change positions and the two activities intermesh the practical world of governance whereas the New Public Management(NPM) theory insisted on separation of policy and administration.

    1. I am sure that some of you realize the value of the blogs. Please tell your friends about them. I am really glad at the responses. This is the meeting of minds, i often speak about it. It would be nice if you can comment on other’s views

  8. 1) features are:
    -> NPM focuses on management and not on policy,i.e on performance,appraisal and efficiency
    -> desegregation of public bureaucracies into agencies which deal with
    each other on user-pay basis
    ->use of quasi-makers and contracting out to foster competition
    -> a style of management which emphasizes output targets,limited term contracts, monetary incentives and freedom to manage
    ->NPM determined effort is to implement the 3E’s: Efficiency,Economy and Effectiveness

    2)the keywords of NPA are relevance,value ,social equity and change.the advocates of NPA were not happy with the traditional PA,because they felt it was not relevant to the current needs of the society.it was value neutral,and had no value for social equity and the underprivileged. hence NPA was introduced under dwight waldo

    NPM was introduced in the 1990’s..its mane concern was to modernise the public sector.it focuses on providin high quality services that citizens value.
    demands quick corrective measures
    it focuses on efficency,economy and effectiveness

  9. Answer 1.

    -> NPM was oriented towards the scientific principles being adapted in the administration.
    -> End results of any administration task was main focus factor, Basically concentration on 3E’s.
    -> Economic Markets was given prominent importance to drive the development of society
    -> Absolute Dichotomy of Politics and Public Administration. Attempt was made to make Public Administration as an separate island w.r.t Politics.
    -> More Focus on the Administrative development ignoring the importance social equity, values, Relevance.
    -> Importance of decentralization in administration is taken into account.
    -> The ideas was Irrational as the it was more oriented towards the goal.

    Answer 2.

    NPA :

    -> Goal was set to improve the academics like providing degrees in administration, supporting internships and scholarships.
    -> Improvement of Core Public Problems was the main concern.
    -> Social Equity, Values, Relevance was taken into account in the functionality of administration.
    -> NPA was more Rational and goals was emphasized on bringing the change & reconceptualization.
    -> Development was interms of society interests.


    -> Goal was set to improve actual on ground process.
    -> Importance was given to managerial concepts, heirarchy etc, which was prone towards management.
    -> NPM was more Irrational as the emphasis was set on the goals.
    -> Development was not in terms of social interests but it was in terms of managerial efficiency.

  10. 1. Features of NPM:
    • It emphasizes an economically driven perspective on the operation of the government and also it involves in finding out which section of the society is benefited.
    • Weberian and Wilson’s mode (it includes Chain of command or hierarchy, separate institution, centralization and specialization) of public administration which believed in public administration and wish to be politically neutral, were challenged by NPM.
    • Encouraging of people to achieve or get what they want.
    • It demanded on the quick corrective measures and rewards both organisational and individual performance.
    • It emphasizes the role of public managers in providing high – quality services that citizens value, and advocates increasing managerial autonomy, particularly by reducing central agency control.
    • It is open ended about which public purposes should be performed by the public servants as opposed to private.
    • Since it is emerged as the method of management technology for reaching a set of goals for state action, and thus it reduces the public sector’s reliability on the process accountability and enhances the role of results accountability.

  11. 2. • NPM gave importance to the Human relation theory approach, where in NPA classical theory was adopted.
    • NPM emphasized on the decentralization, where as NPA involves centralization.
    • In NPM Task of governance is not monopolised, where in NPA it is monopolised.
    • NPM insisted on the responsible bureaucracy, but committed bureaucracy was for NPA.
    • NPM’s keywords are efficient, economic and effective, but NPA’s are values, social equity and change.

  12. 3. Relevance: NPM management techniques and practices drawn mainly from the private sector, is increasingly seen as a global phenomenon. NPM reforms shift the emphasis from traditional public administration to public management. Key elements include various forms of decentralizing management within public services (e.g., the creation of autonomous agencies and devolution of budgets and financial control), increasing use of markets and competition in the provision of public services (e.g., contracting out and other market-type mechanisms), and increasing emphasis on performance, outputs and customer orientation.

    Social Equity: Public Administration defines the term as “The fair, just and equitable management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract; the fair, just and equitable distribution of public services and implementation of public policy; and the commitment to promote fairness, justice, and equity in the formation of public policy.

    Change: At the end of the 20th century, a post bureaucratic paradigm of public management was firmly embedded in many countries reflecting the outcome of the suite of reforms intended to enact a break from the traditional model of public administration underpinned by Weber’s bureaucracy, Wilson’s policy-administration divide, and Taylor’s scientific management model of work organisation. In part at least, NPM was a reaction to perceived weaknesses of the traditional bureaucratic paradigm of public administration and it encompassed a ‘critique of monopolistic forms of service provision and an argument for a wider range of service providers and a more market-oriented approach to management’

  13. 4. The term quality of life references the general well-being of individuals and societies. Since Administration must be an economically driven perspective on the operation of government which leads to increase in the Growth rate and per capita income might increase but public administration should find out which section of the society is benefited.

  14. 5. Public Administration and Political Science dichotomy is the separation the administration from politics. Political science or politics (politicians) is concerned with the policy making, where as the public administration is concerned with the implementation of the policy decisions.

    In NPA, Public administration and political science are differentiated as the Policy making by politicians and implementation of the policy made by public administrators, where as in NPM it states this separation is unrealistic, irrelevant and unworkable, as the people on the both side frequently change the position and two activities interrelate in the practical world of governance.

  15. 1. What are the main features of NPM theory.

    Affected by the turbulence of Vietnam War, Watergate Scandal and urban riots people of America expressed their concern for a new public management. There were tremendous technical and societal changes that took place during the 80s and 90s. Complexities were involved in public policy making and implementation. Successful management of public sector and efficient production of organisational outputs was not possible through the classical public administration. The public wanted the administrators to serve the society truly, care for their needs and be moral and ethical. All these factors led to the development of NPM theory.
    Features of NPM
    • NPM emphasized on efficiency and effectiveness and high quality services in public sector with goal achievement as the priority. It wanted economic growth and a rise in per capita income.
    • Stressed on non-hierarchical form of organisation where it is more work orientated than power oriented. The lower subordinates must be consulted and must be allowed to communicate with their superior’s superior. A bottom up approach must be followed.
    • Highlighted the importance of decentralisation. Decentralisation leads to more flexibility in implementation of the policies and free flow of communication from lower rank to higher rank officials. It promotes adaptability of local initiatives and permits lower level operating units to interpret rules to suit local needs.
    • Emphasized organisation irrationality. Pay heed to human problems and sentiments. Focus on social and psychological factors of employees. Boost the morale of the employees and motivate the staffs. This helps to deliver standard and quality services.
    • Due to the prestigious position of civil servants, professionalism nature of administration is extremely important rather than strict discipline and rule bound.
    • Stressed on privatisation and outsourcing. Private companies have more flexible organisational design and practices, hence they should be allowed to deliver public goods and services which are expert in.
    • Collaboration of private-public sector and allow non-governmental organisations to operate directly in wide range of activities.
    • Administration has to be transparent, accessible and accountable to citizens all its functions.
    • Highlighted the significance of excellent human resources and leading edge information technology which helps to proved outstanding services.
    • Focused on equity in work place and involvement of people from a wide range of background to bring about a wide range of ideas and thoughts.

    2. Differences between NPA and NPM

    • NPA focuses on duties of the public servant while NPM focuses on how to make the work of the public servant more efficient and productive.
    • NPA focuses on solving contemporary problems and issues where as NPM focuses on economic growth and rise in per capita income.
    • NPA deals with implementation of the policies for well being of the state while NPM is goal and result orientated.
    • NPA gives importance to disadvantaged sections of the society whereas NPM does not give any importance to any sections of the society as it is just management technique focused on efficiency and results.
    • NPA takes into account social and psychological factors of the general public while NPM takes into account social and psychological factors of the public servants.
    • NPA stresses on strict adherence to rules and disciplines while NPM relaxes on rules and is flexible.

    3. What do you understand by the terms Relevance, Values, Equity and social change.

    Evolution of New Public Administration is a turning point in the growth of the discipline. The orthodox PA was replaced by NPA. It emphasizes on following four themes.
    PA should be applied to relevant fields. Traditionally PA has focussed on efficiency and economy. New PA stresses on contemporary problems and issues. It is the purpose of PA to help perpetuate and implement political power and policies to specific problems of society. It should be relevant to the realities of public life and demands radical curriculum.
    NPA rejected the value-neutral position adopted by the traditional PA. The values of the NPA should be targeted to the disadvantaged sections of the society. The values must be transparent and be allowed for public criticism. This would help in implementation of well rehearsed values. Values of the NPA lay more emphasis on the following,
    • More public and less generic
    • More transparency
    • Accountability to public as all the professional activities is funded by the citizens of the country. Civil servants are liable for their actions.
    • Ethics – every administrator must hold a high degree of ethical standards. Ethics calls for administrators to display integrity and adhere to rules and regulations.
    Social equity
    The public services and goods should b e distributed equally among all sections of the society. The functions of the PA are to reduce the economic, social and psychic sufferings and enhance life opportunities to all sections equally.
    Society is dynamic and ever-changing. It is constantly expanding. Hence to deal with such dynamism, PA must also evolve and be in par with society and adopt the capacity to handle contemporary issues. To maintain social equity, a status-quo in administration is required. NPA is socially conscious, people oriented, normative and is of direct relevance to the developing countries. This change has brought about a successful integration of public administration and political science. The changes which takes place is to imbibe a good deal of NPA into the existing policy making process.

  16. NPM as an attempt to challenge the assumptions and practices of the classical theory or traditional theory of management.

    * Vonstein considered Public administration as an integrating science and thought that the science of public administration should function on scientific lines and administration should carefully follow the rule book.

    *Wilson the president of USA had in favour of four concepts:

    a) separation of political science and public administration
    b)government must run on business line.
    c)comparative study of public and private organizations.
    d)training civil servants and assessing their quality.

    * Luther Gullick and Lyndall Urwick were the founders of science of administration.

    * Henry Fayols scientific management were believed by them ie., 14 principles of Fayol.

    * weber and wilson gave their ideas on how public administration should work.

    * After Vietnam war, so many American soldiers were killed , US started to trap the telephones of rival party.Then public thought this is the wrong way of management. Management should change.Thus evolved NPM.

    *The maN pOINTS ARE:

    A)Administration must be economically driven with public interest.

    B) Great emphasis on professional nature of administration.

    Technology and social changes demand New Management Theory.

    Rise of expectations during 80’s gave rise to the concept of NMT.

    *** Befor e this there was secrecy in administration but now there is accountability and transparency like from RTI.

    example: Mr.Baalu was put on the mat for summoning officials from some other ministry and instructing them to release gas at cheaper rates for his son’s companies and how the PMO sent several reminders to those officials to hurry up and do what Baalu wanted.I do not think Government should run for the betterment of Baalu’s son’s company.

    *** Classical theory obeys Command or hierarchy separate institutional structures and specialisation and centralised control but NMT challenged all this.

    ** Weberian model of rules is not always effective.

    ** The hierarchical model is not always advisable.
    **Organisational rationality is not always effective.
    **New management insists on new role for the employees apart from pay.

    *** Public Administration cannot always be scientific.

    Bounded Rationality is required.

    *Public administration must adopt the techniques of private sector for efficiency.

    Clusters are beneficial than pyramids for administrative system.

    ** According to Mohit Bhattacharya ,NPM are Public choice theory and a kind of neo Taylorism.

    SIGNIFICANCE OF NEW MANAGEMENT THEORY: ” The post weberain and post wilsonian approach makes Public administration go nearer to political science for the public good and progress.

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